Suppose you’re in the market for a new credit card. In that case, choosing the best one can be a little difficult because of the sheer number of banks and financial services that offer one, says GreenSprout, a financial blog that’s dedicated to helping its readers make sound financial decisions and become financially stable.
It’s tempting to accept every credit card offer that comes your way, what with the attractive rewards they provide and the large amounts of free money you may earn just for using your card.
However, you probably shouldn’t. However, there are several advantages to using a credit card while making a transaction, including security against fraudulent charges and the opportunity to earn rewards. Before you get a credit card, make sure it’s the right moment to add to your plastic supply.
But how can you know which card will be best for you? Read on to learn more.
Understand How Credit Cards Work
Buying anything on credit means receiving it immediately with the understanding that you will make payment at a later date. A credit card helps with this. That’s why its convenience is matched only by the seriousness of its implications for defaulting on payments.
What sets credit cards apart from other forms of electronic payment, like mobile payment applications and debit cards, is that they allow users to temporarily spend money that isn’t theirs as if it were their own.
Credit limits (the maximum amount you can pay with a given card) are sometimes set higher than the amount of cash a person possesses. This is why using a credit card to make a purchase can be both a good and a bad thing.
Understand Your Credit History
A credit score is a three-digit number that summarizes the information contained in a credit report, which credit agencies maintain. Creditworthiness is proportional to the number of points it has.
Building a positive credit history takes time and is based on a borrower’s track record of making timely payments. This will also increase your chances for credit card approval in the future.
Credit card companies consider these and other signs of creditworthiness while deciding whether or not to give loans. The easiest and most popular way to build a credit history is by using a credit card. However, credit card companies may only be willing to grant you credit with a credit history.
Don’t Exaggerate your Creditworthiness
When applying for a credit card, you should expect to be asked personal and financial questions by the issuer. To appear more “creditworthy,” you could be tempted to exaggerate your income, conceal your debts, or otherwise misrepresent your financial situation, but you shouldn’t.
If you are discovered to provide false information on a credit application, you could face significant legal consequences. A credit card application is a legal document, meaning making false or exaggerated claims on it might result in criminal charges.
Do Your Research
GreenSprout recommends researching the company before applying for a new credit card. You should find out if the frequent stores accept the card and if you can use it to cover other expenses.
Once you know how to use the card, you can start looking for a reasonable interest rate. Presently, you can find rates anywhere between mid-teens and low-to-mid twenties. In any case, if your credit is outstanding, you may qualify for a lower APR.